Teaching on Marriage

Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is (A)good for a man [a]not to touch a woman. But because of sexual immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise the wife also to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise the husband also does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. [b](B)Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and [c]come together again so that (C)Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But this I say by way of concession, (D)not of command. [d]Yet I wish that all [e]men were (E)even as I myself am. However, (F)each has his own gift from God, one in this way, and another in that.

But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is (G)good for them if they remain (H)even as I. But if they do not have self-control, (I)let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 But to the married I give instructions, (J)not I, but the Lord, that the wife is not to leave her husband 11 (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband is not to [f]divorce his wife.

12 But to the rest (K)I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she consents to live with him, he must not [g]divorce her. 13 And [h]if any woman has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not [i]divorce her husband. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through [j]her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are (L)holy. 15 Yet if the unbelieving one is leaving, [k]let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called [l]us (M)in peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will (N)save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

17 Only, (O)as the Lord has assigned to each one, as God has called each, in this way let him walk. And (P)so I direct in (Q)all the churches. 18 Was any man called when he was already circumcised? He is not to become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? (R)He is not to be circumcised. 19 (S)Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is (T)the keeping of the commandments of God. 20 (U)Each person is to remain in that [m]state in which he was called.

21 Were you called as a slave? Do not let it concern you. But if you are also able to become free, take advantage of that. 22 For the one who was called in the Lord as a slave, is (V)the Lord’s freed person; likewise the one who was called as free, is (W)Christ’s slave. 23 (X)You were bought for a price; do not become slaves of people. 24 Brothers and sisters, (Y)each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.

25 Now concerning virgins, I have (Z)no command of the Lord, but I am offering direction as one who [n](AA)by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. 26 I think, then, that this is good in view of the [o]present (AB)distress, that (AC)it is good for a man [p]to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such people as yourselves will have [q]trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. 29 But this I say, brothers, (AD)the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; 30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31 and those who use the world, as though they did not (AE)make full use of it; for (AF)the present form of this world is passing away.

32 But I want you to be free from concern. One who is (AG)unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; 33 but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to put a restraint on you, but [r]to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

36 But if anyone thinks that he is acting dishonorably toward his virgin, if she is [s]past her youth and it ought to be so, let him do what he wishes, he is not sinning; let [t]them marry. 37 But the one who stands firm in his heart, [u]if he is not under constraint, but has authority [v]over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin, he will do well. 38 So then, both the one who gives his own virgin in marriage does well, and the one who does not give her in marriage will do better.

39 (AH)A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband [w]dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only (AI)in the Lord. 40 But (AJ)in my opinion she is [x]happier if she remains as she is; and I think that I also have the Spirit of God.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Corinthians 7:1 Prob. referring to abstinence
  2. 1 Corinthians 7:5 Or do not deprive
  3. 1 Corinthians 7:5 Lit be
  4. 1 Corinthians 7:7 One early ms For
  5. 1 Corinthians 7:7 Or people
  6. 1 Corinthians 7:11 Or leave his wife
  7. 1 Corinthians 7:12 Or leave her
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:13 One early ms any woman who has
  9. 1 Corinthians 7:13 Or leave her husband
  10. 1 Corinthians 7:14 Lit the brother
  11. 1 Corinthians 7:15 Or then he must leave
  12. 1 Corinthians 7:15 One early ms you
  13. 1 Corinthians 7:20 Lit calling
  14. 1 Corinthians 7:25 Lit has been shown mercy by the Lord to be trustworthy
  15. 1 Corinthians 7:26 Or impending
  16. 1 Corinthians 7:26 Lit so to be
  17. 1 Corinthians 7:28 Lit tribulation in the flesh
  18. 1 Corinthians 7:35 Lit for what is seemly
  19. 1 Corinthians 7:36 Or past puberty
  20. 1 Corinthians 7:36 I.e., the woman and her betrothed or fiancé
  21. 1 Corinthians 7:37 Lit having no necessity
  22. 1 Corinthians 7:37 Lit pertaining to
  23. 1 Corinthians 7:39 Lit falls asleep
  24. 1 Corinthians 7:40 Or more fortunate